Most descriptions of Hollister Ranch conjure up an image of a place to see California as it once was:
- "One of California’s least tarnished stretches of coastline"
- "One the last remaining undeveloped coastal areas in California"
- A "remnant of old California"
- "Virtually untouched since the days of the dons"
- "Almost the same today as when the Chumash Indians inhabited it hundreds of years ago"
- Where “the traditional California lifestyle has been preserved for generations"
- Largely "undeveloped"
However, Hollister Ranch has a long and often conflicted history of human impact, land use, and development. It’s not “untouched” and it’s not a snapshot of a single bygone era. Violence, weather, luck, politics, finance, and development have shaped the land and patterns of human use there.
In the timeline below, we explore the history of the human presence on the Gaviota Coast in and around Hollister Ranch, as well as changing and contested claims to that land.
Hollister Ranch: Its History, Preservation, and People, by Nancy Ward.
Gaviota Coast History by Lex Palmer at the Gaviota Coast Conservancy.
Gaviota Coast Draft Feasibility Study & Environmental Assessment, prepared by the National Park Service.
“Chumash History” and “Tribal Marine Protected Areas: Protecting Maritime Ways and Cultural Practices” at the Wishtoyo Foundation.
“Cultural Evolution and Paleogeography on the Santa Barbara Coast” by Jon M. Erlandson.
“Preserving Our Cultural Heritage” by the Gaviota Coast Conservancy.
“The Ranch Papers: A California Memoir” by Jane Hollister Wheelwright.
Legal documents and timeline on Hollister Ranch at the California Coastal Commission.
“The Past, Present, and Future of the California Coastal Act” by Jordan Diamond, Holly Doremus, Mae Manupipatpong, Richard Frank, Shauna Oh, Sean Hecht, Deborah Sivas, Matt Armsby, and Jocelyn Herbet.